What Is Indices Trading: Unbiased Guide For Beginners 2023

Indices Trading

Indices trading refers to buying and selling of a group of stocks, which together makes an index. Due to the low cost and mild risk, indices trading has become a quite popular trading instrument among both beginner and professional traders.

The accessibility and convenience of this asset class let traders to choose any stock index according to their financial goals and budget. Still wondering what is Indices trading & how does it work? here’s an compressive guide. 

In this write up, we will cover information on indices, index trading, ways to trade indexes, the pros and cons of indices trading, and more.

What Are Indices?

Indices are a group of prominent stocks, which measure the performance major companies. With indices, traders can focus on the company’s overall market conditions and strengths for better results and profits. They are often used to benchmark investment performance and to determine whether a particular market is overvalued or undervalued. 

What Is Indices Trading?

Indices trading mean buying and selling of a group of stocks in order to make profits. In simple words, a trader typically place a trade on major indexes of the renowned stocks. 

Sometimes, trading on indices is complex and risky, but oftentimes it also offers good returns or profits. It is possible only when the traders have good knowledge of trading or understand how to trade with the indices trading effectively.

Investing in indices is a good option as it provides real-time information and regular updates of financial markets. For instance, when indices prices are rising, buyers are purchasing more than that selling and vice versa.

How Does Indices Trading Work?

Index trading works by allowing traders to speculate on the overall direction of a group of stocks rather than just one. This is done by creating an index, which is a basket of stocks chosen to represent a particular market or sector. The index is then used as a benchmark against which to measure the performance of other stocks in the same group.

There are a few things to remember when trading with an index trading.

  • First, you need to find a reputable broker that offers index trading.
  • Second, you need to understand the different types of indexes and their underlying assets.
  • Lastly, you need to be familiar with the technical indicators that are used for trading the index.

Some Most Popular and Traded Indices

  • DAX – This stock index chases and tracks the performance of the 30 major companies that are listed on the FSE – Frankfurt Stock Exchange. 
  • NASDAQ 100 – Tracks the value of 100 major non-financial companies in the US. 
  • DIJA – Measures the performance of 30 major blue-chip stocks in the US. 
  • S & P 500 – Measures the performance of 500 large-capitalization companies in the US. 
  • FTSE 100 – Tracks the performance of 100 companies (blue-chip) that are listed on the LSE – London Stock Exchange. 

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Indices Trading

Here we list some of the advantages and disadvantages of indices trading. This section will help you to understand this trading instrument effectively as well as helps in making decisions. 

Advantages Of Indices Trading 

  • Indices trading allows investors to trade on the overall performance of a basket of stocks rather than trading each stock individually.
  • Provide ample opportunities for greater diversification and risk management and greater opportunities for arbitrage and price discovery.
  • Traders can trade in a wider market with a single transaction. 
  • Ability to hedge against a portfolio of stocks
  • Traders can take advantage of global market movements.
  • Allow traders to check real-time updates on the value of the indices.
  • Set up notifications for certain conditions. 
  • Ability to backtest trading strategies using historical data
  • It can also provide access to markets in which trading may be difficult.

Disadvantages of Indices

  • Trading on indices is quite risky and challenging as the price of financial instruments fluctuates rapidly.
  • If you haven’t focused on the market conditions carefully, you might have to lose hard-earned money.

What Are The Factors Affecting The Market Price Of Indices? 

The changes in pricing in the movement of a group of assets or instruments depend on external factors. The price goes down mainly in unfavorable conditions that affect the economic conditions of a particular country. Some of the factors that affect the price of an index are as follows:-

  • Earnings of the companies that make up the index
  • Interest rates
  • Economic indicators
  • Political conditions

Why Choose Indices Trading?

Trade with Leverage

You can start Indices trading on leverage. Many broker offers traders to open big positions by offering a maximum leverage of 1:500.

But at the same time, trading with high leverages can invite higher risks. Your profit, as well as the loss, is calculated on the entire position, including the leveraged amount, and not only on your initial deposit.

Retail investor accounts lose money rapidly because of leverage as the double-edged sword has the potential to eat your capital also. So trade with leverage responsibly. 

Go Short and Long 

While starting indices via CFDs, one can go short as well as long with the positions. While going long, you buy in the market as you expect that the prices will rise. Going short means selling in a market because you expect that the price will decline. With CFD trading, the profit and loss of positions are determined by how precisely you depict the market’s rise and fall and the market change’s overall size. 


Any investor or trader who has a group of shares might short the index to safeguard the portfolio’s losses. If the market declines and the shares fall in value, the index’s short position will increase the value and protect the investor from potential losses. But if the stock rises in value, then the short position on the index will offset a part of profits. 


When you are trading on indices, you buy a basket of stocks, which ultimately help diversify your portfolios. This is really helpful when you are new to the business and don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket.


The indices are the most liquidated financial instrument in the world, meaning there is always someone who is ready to buy or sell assets.


Indices are more volatile in nature than individual stocks, making them more exciting to trade. However, it also means that there is more risk involved.

Can I Earn Profit From Index Trading?

Yes, absolutely you can earn profit from index trading by predicting the actual price movements of securities. Let’s understand with an example if you are predicting that the price of the FTSE 100 will go up, which is a long position situation. Whereas if you think that price movement will decline, this is a condition of a short position. The profit or loss depends on what you forecasted for the indices.

How to Start Indices Trading?

Here’s a detailed guide on how to trade Indices:

Choose How You Want To Trade Stock Indices:

There are several ways to trade indices. One of the best ways to trade indices is through CFDs. With CFDs, no physical exchange of assets takes place. Rather, the trader speculates on the price changes of the underlying asset.

Cash Indices or Index Futures:

Cash indices are for traders who want to pursue short-term index trading. Indices tend to have wider spreads than index futures and are traded at the spot price. Most traders who trade cash indices close their position as the trading day ends and open new trading positions the next day to avoid overnight charges.

Index futures are for traders who want to go long-term with their trading. Even though they have wider spreads as compared to cash indices, the overnight charges are absent. Index futures are traded at a price set in the future and agreed on in the present.

Creating An Account With A Reliable Broker

To trade any asset, you need to have an account with an authorized and regulated broker or financial service provider. If you are eyeing a regulated online broker to facilitate trading in various markets, we recommend InvestBy,  and ETFinance. Both are regulated online broker functioning in Italy, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, and Spain. The broker deals in various instruments like indices, CFDs, forex, commodities, metals, stocks, indices, ETFs, Cryptocurrencies, and more.

Choose Your Preferred Stock Index

There is a wide range of indices available for traders out there. You need to select the index that goes best with your trading style as well as your financial goals. This will also depend on whether you want to take long or short positions in your trade.

Set Stop Losses and Limits

It is very crucial that you use one or the other stop and limit order on your trade. A stop-loss will close the position on its own when the loss goes beyond the trader’s limit. On the other hand, a limit order will automatically close the position when the position moves towards a more positive price.

Opening And Monitoring The Trade Position

When you think you are all set to trade indices, it is time to open your trading position. After opening your trade, don’t forget to monitor your position regularly.


Despite being risky and volatile, Indices trading diversifies your portfolio by allowing you to buy a basket of stocks even with a single transaction.  

However, we would like to conclude this article with the statement that trading is risky. Choose the method of trading on your own or consult with an online broker before making any crucial decisions. For professional consultation or advice on trading styles or methods, you can connect with the broker Capitalix, which helps you throughout the trading process. 


What Are Top Indices Trading Platforms?

XTB, InvestFW, Capitalix, Pepperstone. eToro, XM, Oanda, AvaTrade, IC Markets, and Naga Markets are some trustworthy and reliable indices trading platforms where traders can trade in indices. 

Trading Indices Vs Forex Which One Is Better? 

If your budget is limited and fixed, then forex is a better option, while indices are more volatile and require huge amounts of money for trading. I believe that investors should discover both market experiences for a short period of time. Take time and then choose one which suits your trading requirements and risk tolerance.

What Is Index Trading In India? 

Index trading is a type of stock trading involving buying and selling indexes of top stocks. By trading on indices, investors can analyze whether an index will rise or fall, without actually buying shares in the underlying assets.